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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 25 January 2015 at 4:27pm


Each stage in this quest for the self requires mastery, discipline, choices and ethics. Each of these stages reproduces the same questions with more and more intensity: Why am I what I am? Why do I think what I think? True freedom can only be a liberation...freedom is an ideal in a process, an ever-renewed experience, it is never achieved.

In the name of that freedom, it is also natural and logical for the intellect to produce an ethics that is rational, autonomous, secular, individual and demanding, because it must never neglect the human community in which and for which it finds expression. We are a long way – a very long way – from the paths of mysticism, faith and the extinction of the ego; here, the subject knows that he is alone, says ‘I’ and assumes his freedom as an individual. As the Lithuanianborn French philosopher puts it, freedom is ’the ability to do what no one else can do in my place’. And yet, as we go down the road to freedom, we find the same hopes, the same demands, the same need for ethics, or even laws, to regulate and give substance to freedom itself. Freedom demands awareness, rigour and, paradoxically, discipline on the part of the subject, the ego/self, the believer and the philosopher as well as the mystic. No matter whether we are alone or part of a community, we enter the virtuous circle of the experience of freedom and liberation, and we never emerge from it to the extent that we are human. For whilst freedom is a precondition for responsibility, one of the dimensions of responsibility is that we are completely responsible for the use we make of our freedom. Whilst the law can regulate, it cannot codify everything: in human relationships, friendship, love or a mere encounter, two free beings must recognize their mutual sensibilities and aspirations. The law sometimes allows us to say things that humanity, or common decency, invites us not to express. The quest for a reasonable freedom consists as much in demanding legitimate powers as in learning to master them.

We are at last coming to the end, or perhaps it is the origin. Art is the privileged school for this encounter between mastery, freedom and liberation. A pianist or violinist who plays Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven spends years trying to master a difficult technique. The rules are constrictive. He or she must begin again and again to practise, to internalize a technique . . . concentrate, master the emotions, the body, the fingers. The technique is gradually acquired.

Religious and mystical experience has a lot in common with this kind of artistic asceticism: study, self-control, mastery of the ritual, the rules and of apparent forms is the path that leads us inside the self in order to encounter and transcend the self, and to experience the spiritual liberation of being. Just as there can be no free artistic improvisation without a mastery of technique, there can be no liberating spiritual experience without study, or without a codified and integrated ritual.

This is, however, not without its dangers, as we must never lose sight of our goals: an artist who concentrates solely on technique destroys art, and the believer or mystic who becomes obsessed with ritual destroys both meaning and spirituality. Basically, the same is true of our public life and interpersonal relationships: the law and the rules certainly help to protect our respective freedoms, but too many laws eventually stifle and confine us. That is the price we pay for our freedom: we must experience paradoxes, reconcile opposites, establish balances and harmonies and never lose sight of either apparent illusions or profound ends.


                                                 
Dr.Tariq Ramadan






http://tariqramadan.com/english/2015/01/14/saying-i-and-art-55/
La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 28 January 2015 at 6:48pm


Know that Almighty God is in control of the affairs of the creation and has promised good to the people of goodness. Therefore, do not allow the climate of hatred being fostered by some to cause you to despair. Your love and mercy are greater than their hatred. Also, know that if you are an active agent of good you will see unexpected positive consequences result from your actions. God mentions in the Qur'an, “Good and evil are not equal. Respond to evil with what is best. Unexpectedly, you will see one between whom you and him was great enmity become like an intimate friend. This is only realized by those who patiently persevere; this is only realized by one possessing a lofty spiritual station (41:34-35).” Have faith in God and His promise and never despair. Good is more powerful than evil; do all in your power to ensure that you are a force for good in the world. Patience is a great virtue; patiently persevere in doing all of the good things you are currently doing and God will bless you in many wonderful ways.

~Imam Zaid Shakir
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 29 January 2015 at 5:28pm


Challenging Selfishness

In our world of increasing need the answer has to be found in relentless giving despite cultural discourse calling for an end to altruism.



“Those who adopted the abode and faith before them love those who migrated to them, and they find no need in their souls for what the migrants were given. They give preference [to others] over themselves, even though they have serious needs. Whoever can ward off the stinginess within his soul, they will be the successful ones.” (55:59)



A glance at the daily headlines alerts us to a number of crises, which collectively urge us to question the soundness of the course that has been charted for the ship of humanity. The Arctic Ocean is forecasted to be ice-free as early as the year 2020. Such a development will have devastating consequences for already frightening climate change scenarios. Many species of fish are threatened with extinction due to overfishing, pollution and other direct or indirect threats precipitated by human activity. Rapidly eroding biodiversity in other areas such as plant species, reptiles, amphibians and bird populations threatens the stability of all known ecosystems with unforeseen consequences for all life on earth.



At the level of human society, we see unprecedented disparities between the wealthiest and poorest members of most nations, to say nothing of the obscene extremes between the wealthiest and poorest nations themselves. Internationally, unnecessary wars are being actively prosecuted in, or threatened against, some of the poorest nations on earth. The social fabric of a formerly stable nation, Syria, is being ripped apart before our very eyes. Tens of thousands of innocent people are being killed in Mexico owing to violence whose ultimate cause is the insatiable appetite of Americans for illegal drugs. We can go on with this sordid litany, however, most of what we could mention is well-known.



Perhaps, what is most saddening about this situation is the response by some of the wealthiest members of the most powerful and influential nations. Increasingly, we find the wealthy and powerful responding to the various crises besieging our world with either crass callousness or benign neglect. Few are the members of the influential sectors in the West who can stand up and take meaningful action on behalf of the poor and fewer still who can resist the temptation to become defenders of a deeply flawed and troubled system.



In Europe, nothing better symbolizes a reflexive commitment to a troubled status quo than the European Union being granted the Noble Peace Price at a time when its economic policies are threatening to open the door to the type of nationalist passions and demagoguery that plunged Europe into two World Wars. In America, we find most conservative political elites, whose ranks are growing, increasingly advancing a rabid individualism that glorifies selfishness, and belittles altruism. The result of this situation is a politics of “me” and “mine” that is eviscerating the safety net that formerly mitigated some of the most pernicious effects of unbridled individual and corporate greed.



One of the most influential intellectuals informing the thought of those elites is the controversial atheist novelist, Ayn Rand. In a signature line, taken from one of Rand’s most influential speeches, Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World, she posits, “If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.” Rand sees altruism as an oppressive force that can only be justified by mysticism, which, in her view, died with the advent of the Renaissance. Hence, she sees any effort to justify altruistic behavior as an effort that proceeds, vampire-like, from a philosophical, moral and epistemological grave. The dangers inherent to such an approach to human life should be obvious.



A question for us Muslims to ask ourselves is, “What can we offer the world in this critical area at this crucial juncture?” In beginning to answer this question, we need to understand that altruism, which has been defined as an unselfish concern for the welfare of others, is at the very heart of what it means to be a Muslim in a human society. The Ansar (Helpers), the inhabitants of Madinah who had accepted Islam, gladly received into their city and homes those Muslims who were forced to flee from Makkah, in many instances leaving behind everything they possessed.



They are described in the Qur’an by the following words, “They give preference [to others] over themselves, even though they have serious needs.” (59:9) This phrase calls our attention to a very important point. Not only were those Helpers willing to sacrifice to assist their brothers and sisters who migrated to them from a distant city, they were willing to do so even though they themselves were in need of the things they were extending to others. Theirs was a case of the poor helping the poor. We might even say, the poor helping those poorer than themselves.



Today, throughout the Western world, we hear ever louder cries from ever richer elites that they have no obligation towards the poor. Hence, all government “entitlements” paid for, allegedly, by taxing the wealthy, should be eliminated. Such cries have no moral or theological basis in Islam. Almighty God reminds us in the Qur’an, “And in their wealth there is a well-known right, for those [poor] who ask and those who refrain from asking.” (70:24-25) In other words, God has established a right owed to the poor in whatever we may own. When that right goes unfulfilled, we are literally stealing from the poor. By withholding what we owe to the poor, we are not only chiseling away at the bonds of brotherhood that bind us into a vast human family, we are also slowly eroding our individual humanity.



When asked, “Which manifestation of Islam is best?” The Prophet Muhammad, replied, “That you feed people and that you greet people; both acquaintances and strangers.” Could there be a greater impetus for Muslims to be organizing soup kitchens and food pantries? We cannot claim that we do not know the recipients of our assistance as an excuse for inaction, for the Prophet Muhammad, urged us to feed even strangers.



The Prophet and his Companions were teaching us a lesson that we have witnessed repeatedly throughout history, namely, those who have the least oftentimes are those who give the most. The noted American journalist and social critic, Chris Hedge, writing about the dehumanizing devastation found in Camden, New Jersey, one of the poorest cities in the United States, relates a moving account of Lallois Davis. The elderly Davis refuses to allow her faith or her humanity to be crushed by the crime, drugs, bleakness and desolation existing all around her. Helping to prepare meals for some of the many homeless inhabitants of Camden, she extolled, “The poor have to help the poor because the ones who make the money are helping the people with money.”



Davis reminds us that the altruistic spirit that moved the Ansar is still alive in our world. However, it is under assault from the false prophets of selfishness and greed, false prophets whose ministries are confined to the wealthy and powerful.



To preserve altruism, we will have to strive mightily to preserve its foundations. One of its greatest foundations is love. The Helpers are described as loving those who migrated to them. In other words, love helped empower them to avoid the selfishness that lies within the human soul. Our love can help us to conquer the selfishness in our souls. Our love can push us to continue to give, to share and to care in order that others may live better and more meaningful lives. Our love can help us to preserve the Qur’anic message of altruism.



However, for our love to accomplish those lofty tasks it has to be real and to be real it has to be nurtured and strengthened in all of our relationships. It must define how we treat our children, parents, spouses, friends and neighbors. It must push us to stand in solidarity with those who have been marginalized economically. It must push us to plead on behalf of the tyrannized masses whose voices have been drowned out by the deafening thud of bombs or ripped away by shrapnel. It must lift us above the all too easily traveled low-ground of self-righteousness and carry us to the high-ground of humility, introspection and service.



If we can be people of love, we will be people who continue to give, to share and to care. We will be altruistic people. However, we must carefully nurture altruism, one of the greatest gifts of the prophetic legacy to humanity, and pass it on to unborn generations so that they too can fittingly call themselves “human”.

~Imam Zaid Shakir




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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 18 March 2015 at 5:26pm




   

Find pleasure in the fleeting little things as you work laboriously on the things that will last. A smile is a key that opens the door to the mysteries of creation. The secret lies not in the physical features that comprise the smile, but in the metaphysical nature of the heart that produces it.

Imam Zaid Shakir
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Everything that has a beginning has an end.

That is a sign in this world.

Everyone will abandon us in the end, but God and His Messenger will never abandon you.

If you feel it’s bleak, know you have a Merciful Lord and a Prophet ﷺ who is concerned for you.

~ Shaykh Hamza Yusuf


Don’t think of the trials in your life (‘balaa’) as just a ‘test’ in the human form. Allah is not like a professor who hands you a test, moves away and just watches from afar to see how you’ll do.

Allah is our murabee—the One who raises us with more mercy than a mother raises a child. The Prophet (pbuh) tells us that when Allah wills good for someone, he sends them ‘balaa’ (trials or tests). When… Allah wills good for us, He purifies us. That is why each person is tested in what they love most. In other words our greatest possible ‘competitor’ in our love for God is what is withheld or must be sacrificed. This is the purification process because it cures the heart of competitors.

Why was Prophet Ibrahim (AS) asked to slaughter the most beloved thing to him? Did Allah actually want him to *kill* his son? No. He didn’t kill his son. He killed the attachment. By being willing to sacrifice what he loved most, he had slaughtered any possible competing love. Allah was raising him, purifying him and elevating him.

Allah tell us, “By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love.” (3:92)


Yasmin Mogahed







Edited by a well wisher - 20 March 2015 at 6:18pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 02 April 2015 at 8:55am







Vacuous

As empty as the words of murderers
masking gangster-like executions behind justifications
ripped like raw flesh from the bones of the Holy Book.

As empty as the words of a professional liar,
as he glibly dismisses the political aspirations of a people rendered invisible behind the ghetto walls of their manufactured despair.

As empty as the arguments positing Shiites and Sunnis have always been at each others’ throat, so who needs to consider invasions and occupations, imperial strategy or energy politics when debating their self-destructive barbarism.

As empty as the hearts of the gangsters and banksters and their puppet politicians, making life and death decisions that disregard the wellbeing of everyone except themselves.

As empty as the hollow tips of the bullets being dispensed to
law enforcement agencies of the state, across the land, to
insure that the victim’s version of events is never heard by a Grand Jury.

As empty as the dark hearts, which like the vampires they are, shrivel away from the approaching light of a dawning day of truth.

Do not be a vacuous soul, leading an empty life, waiting to be
recruited into an army of gloom. Fill your heart with light, the very foundation of life and go forth to challenge the armies of darkness, for light and darkness cannot coexist. Darkness owes its existence to one thing: the absence of light.

~Imam Zaid Shakir




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“The quest for peace summarizes all the teachings of Islam: peace with the One, peace with oneself, peace with Nature, peace with humans. Peace whose conditions are confidence in faith, freedom, dignity, justice, wellbeing, imagination, solidarity. Towards peace, we must be prepared for every obstacle, every struggle, every adversity. Always remain a peace agent. Jihad is exactly that: resistance to the worst of both the self and humans, for peace, in the name of Peace, in search of peace”

~Dr.Tariq Ramadan

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 05 April 2015 at 4:37am





Have you ever
had your heart broken,
chest opened
reached in
pulled out
squeezed
until you bleed?

Have you ever
cried for a lost one?
Mother, brother, daughter, son,
tummy in a knot
and all you want to do is run?

Have you ever
struggled with the news?
Murder, massacre,
guns and demolition crews.
It’s like a game,
which tragedy do you choose?
Which tyrant
do you root for to lose?
Can you just turn off
or at least snooze?
Because you just.can’t.even.

So you, turn to a friend:
mentor, teacher, or anyone else
Because you feel absolutely hopeless

You ask them: What should I do?
And they say, make du’a’1 , you know pray
So you’re like, yeah yeah
But, no, what should I do or say?
You brush it off your shoulder cuff
Like du’a’ just, isn’t enough

You move on, not
recognizing what you’ve done
That you’ve left behind
The truly capable One

You forget – that Yahya2
was the answer
to his father’s
constant prayer

You forget – that Yunes3
chose prayer
Over despair
inside the whale

You forget – that Ayoub’s4
affliction
was removed
through du`a’

You forget – that Badr
was nothing short of
intervention
from the heavens

You forget—that power
lies with Him alone
That strength comes
through His will

That He is the
Sustainer, the Maintainer,
the Provider, the Protector,
the Just, the Judge

You forget – that He is
the only capable One...

By Dua Aldasouqi



www.virtualmosque.com/miscellaneous/poetry-fiction/the-capable-one

La ilaha ill-Allah, Muhammadur Rasulullah
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 June 2015 at 12:50am
Originally posted by a well wisher


“The quest for peace summarizes all the teachings of Islam: peace with the One, peace with oneself, peace with Nature, peace with humans. Peace whose conditions are confidence in faith, freedom, dignity, justice, wellbeing, imagination, solidarity. Towards peace, we must be prepared for every obstacle, every struggle, every adversity. Always remain a peace agent. Jihad is exactly that: resistance to the worst of both the self and humans, for peace, in the name of Peace, in search of peace”

~Dr.Tariq Ramadan



The quest for peace summarizes all the teachings of Islam

This is very true and a crucial core concept which all Muslims around the world need to understand in order to live a happy life full of peace, real peace.

When I finally understood this concept, a lot of things changed in my personal worldview.

I was able to see Islam through a new lens and understand many things through a different perspective.

We are all at different stages in our journey to Allah, but the main thing is to improve each day, if only by taking one small step forward in the right direction in purifying our soul.

This is the real path to success, as God says in the Qur'an:

"
And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it. And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness, He has succeeded who purifies it, And he has failed who instills it [with corruption]." (91:9-10)
 



Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 11 June 2015 at 3:17pm

How to Control Our Love for this World

Our goal is not to be as rich, or as powerful, or as comfortable as we possibly can in this life.

This life is just a means to the hereafter where what we do in the dunya will determine our position with Allah.

And Allah knows how we forget the dunya's place in our journey to the hereafter...

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/ethics-and-values/heart-a-soul/487323-how-to-control-our-love-for-this-world.html



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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 09 January 2019 at 2:02pm


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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 03 February 2019 at 4:45pm


 4 Understandings of the Shahada - Yahya Rhodus


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"In the end I realized something remarkable - the Sirah is a love story."

- Meraj Mohiuddin in "Revelation."


Edited by a well wisher - 21 February 2019 at 1:06am
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 14 March 2019 at 2:45pm


The Heart of Actions, Actions of the Heart - Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa



(9 mins)
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